Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How come my phone doesn't have a period?

A partner who has almost never stepped foot in my office just dropped by for help sending a text message. He couldn't figure out how to enter a period. Quite amusing. Reminds me of the time another partner invited me to his house to help him transfer his iTunes library to a new computer.

I suppose it's good they're aware that I'm a technology lawyer.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Color of Subtraction

I saw a documentary about Henri Cartier-Bresson on the Sundance Channel. Not particularly well done, but it reminded me of my enchanting visit to the International Center of Photography to see the Cartier-Bresson exhibition a couple of years ago.

A strange thought occurred to me as I watched the film. Why do black and white photos seem more evocative than those in color? I think it's because the mind feels more inspired when adding than subtracting.

Black and white photos are like indie films. They don't rely on special effects to create a strained sense of realism. Instead, they give you an idea and allow you to construct the contours with your imagination. What color is that dress? How sunny was that day? You, the observer, participate in the creative process.

With color photos and big budget movies, not enough is left to the imagination. The color and special effects are intended to give a sense of realism, but the reality that they project is rather strained. Sure, that looks like the purple of the tulip, but it's not the purple of the tulip. And that looks like an explosion, but it's not an explosion. The strive for realism and the failure to attain it distract from the essence of the craft: to stimulate the imagination. Here, the observer becomes an editor -- someone focused on the deficiencies of the work and ways to eliminate them.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Enough with the cold already.

Holy friggin' crap it's cold! I think it was all of 7 degrees when I made my way home from the lower reaches of Canada this morning (otherwise known as the Upper West Side). Many folks from back home insist that they'd move up here if not for the cold. I'd gotten into the habit of telling them that you get used to it. Well, I'll confess now that there's no getting used to this.

Yeah, it's much colder elsewhere. But you ain't gotta walk far elsewhere. I went to lunch yesterday with a friend who lives in the city but works in Jersey (except on Fridays). He whined and whined about the cold, even though it wasn't really all that cold at the time. He was being such a pansy that he insisted that we eat at the crappier of two noodle shops because the walk there was a block shorter. I gave him a hard time about it, and he reminded me that he doesn't spend much time outside anymore. Since he drives to Jersey in his cushy Mercedes, he's only exposed to the elements during his short walks to the garage.

So sad. He may as well be a suburbanite. Reminds me of the folks who visit from Minneapolis and complain about the cold.

Anyhow ... it was quite the miserable walk home. It's so damn cold that there are peesicles -- frozen yellow puddles left behind by dogs -- all over the place. Gross, I know. But you're only reading about it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I like this neighborhood. Do I have to go back to LaGuardia?

Barges with giant cranes on board just rolled in. It seems they'll be hoisting the plane out of the river any minute (well, maybe hour) now. And by "plane," I mean the U.S. Airways jet that landed in the Hudson this afternoon.
From Plane in Hudson
The authorities moored it along the esplanade outside my apartment. It's strange what you see out the window sometimes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Have you tried opening your eyes?

Well, there's much lost ground to cover after many months of idling, but I'll never overcome inertia with the perceived need for a full and immediate recovery hanging over my head. So here I go with a quick first step. (ATP, Tokyo, the plane sittting in the river outside my apartment and other fun tales will have to wait.)

I chatted a bit with a couple of people at work today about my trip to Tokyo. One of them is a frequent visitor on business. He was eager to share his observations, most of which were about the women. (To give some context, I should note that he's not Asian.) He's of the view that the women of Tokyo are rather unattractive. As a basis for comparison, he offered up the women of Thailand as an archetype of beauty. And he went on to explain ever-so-scientifically that the women of Thailand are beautiful because the population of Thailand is a blend of many ethnicities. In contrast, there's no "mixing," as he put it, in Japan.

I probably should've left that alone. But for the hell of it, I asked whether he'd ever been to Korea. He answered in the affirmative and declared that the women of Korea are also beautiful. I then pointed out that the population of Korea is rather homogeneous. Seeing the incongruity in his theory, he quickly asserted that the population of Korea isn't homogeneous, what with the Malaysian and ... well, I didn't pay much attention after that. Malaysian influences in Korea?

It's safe to say that his knowledge of anthropology is about as deficient as his sense of aesthetics.